Quality Assurance for Webmasters - Final Testing
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The last thing you need to do is test the site. Then test it again. Test it a third time. After that, have a friend test it. Make sure beyond all doubt that the site, and everything in it, works every time.
A very important page to have is a custom 404-error page. You want to have a page that is as descriptive as possible. List numerous reasons why the user may have gotten there. Make sure your logo is on the page to let them know they havenít left your site. A 404 page can be very scary for the novice user. They get confused easily. Provide a link back to the home page and to the site map. You do have a site map, donít you? Finally, make sure that the 404 page works. There is nothing worse than a broken 404 page, because when it canít load, it will direct to the 404 pageÖ which is broken! You get a never ending loop of broken pages until the server crashes. Then your site is down for a while, plus your hosting company wonít be very happy with you, either.
The best thing to do, if you donít have the time yourself, is to have a company test the site for you. There are a lot of programs out there that claim to test the code for you, but they have the same pitfalls as any wysiwyg editor youíve ever used. Itís always better to have human testing, and there are a lot of companies that will do it for a fair price.
Remember, the greatest site in the world isnít so great if large portions of users canít see or interact with it. Now get out there and finish that race!
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